Chris LaRocca, Senior Project Manager at Mace
Mace People

Chris LaRocca

Senior Project Manager

Consultancy, North America

Chris kick started his career in pharmaceutical construction management by working for one of the world’s largest healthcare companies while he was still at college. Now with a wealth of experience under his belt, he’s managing some of Mace’s most complex projects that are helping industry leaders to make medical advancements.

How did you get into what you do?
I pretty much worked full time all through college. I was fortunate to get an internship with a pharmaceutical company while I was studying, and from there I got connected with a bunch of project managers who offered me a permanent position. I was studying Construction Engineering Technology and then did a Masters in Engineering Management at New Jersey Institute of Technology. Putting into practice what I was learning at the same time really helped.

Over the years I’ve stayed within the pharma sector, building experience through managing the construction of commercial offices, clean rooms, manufacturing spaces, roof replacements, development labs, medical waste storage facility upgrades, heavy civil and sitework - all kinds really.
What project are you most proud of?
Right now I’m managing a really challenging pharma renovation project in New York that’s giving us plenty of opportunity to be innovative.

The building isn’t really conducive to what it’s needed for so the project is quite unique. We’re replacing the full exterior façade, fitting out all three floors with high-tech specialty labs and offices, and doing a full MEP [mechanical, electrical and plumbing] upgrade. We’re also installing a 1.5MW fuel cell that will run off natural gas. It’s been a really interesting challenge so far.

I’ve worked for various contractors and companies but what matters is the people. We’ve got a great team on this project which will make it all the more successful.
Why Mace?
Construction is an old industry but a lot of things can be improved and Mace isn’t afraid to challenge how things have been done in the past. I joined Mace in November 2015 and from day one I’ve been given the freedom to make improvements. Mace has a way of setting clear standards but encouraging you to be innovative and raise the bar.
Did you ever consider a different career?
When I was in high-school I was really into cooking and considered going to culinary school. I also had a dream of becoming a car designer but I don’t think I ever seriously considered it as I grew up. I’ve still got a passion for cars but my whole family have worked in construction so it’s in my blood. It’s what I know and am familiar with, especially the attitudes and camaraderie shared on site among the different trades.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
Ice hockey. I put on my first set of skates when I was three years old and it’s been a part of my life ever since. I don’t play as much as I used to but for the last 10 years I’ve been a volunteer ice-hockey coach. I coach high-school level kids – mainly 15-16 year olds. I’m really proud of how well they’re doing. 
Chris LaRocca, Senior Project Manager at Mace

“Construction is an old industry but a lot of things can be improved and Mace isn’t afraid to challenge how things have been done in the past.”